Lists

3 British Books to Look Out for in the U.S. in March

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Claire Handscombe

Contributor

Claire Handscombe moved from Europe to DC in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but actually – let’s be honest – because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan, and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives. She also hosts the Brit Lit Podcast, a fortnightly show of news and views from British books and publishing. Blog: the Brit Lit Blog. Twitter: @BookishClaire

Claire Handscombe

Contributor

Claire Handscombe moved from Europe to DC in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but actually – let’s be honest – because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan, and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives. She also hosts the Brit Lit Podcast, a fortnightly show of news and views from British books and publishing. Blog: the Brit Lit Blog. Twitter: @BookishClaire

I’ll admit it: some months when I round up the British books travelling across the ocean, I list titles that I’m not particularly excited about for my own reading life – because, though they’re buzzy, or interesting, or just very good books, they’re not my personal cup of tea for whatever reason. But this month, I’m salivating just looking at this roundup. I need to get reading all three of them!

Salt on Your Tongue by Charlotte Runcie (Canongate Books, March 5, 2019)

Like Charlotte Runcie, I’ve always loved the sea, so I’m excited about this gorgeous-looking book.  It’s also the kind of nonfiction that’s my favourite: memoir mixed with social history, literary criticism, and biography. The author explores how the death of her grandmother and birth of her first child changed her relationship to the sea, and navigates through ancient myths, poetry, shipwrecks, folktales, and history to help us understand the place of oceans in our lives and culture.

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams Gallery/Scout Press (March 19, 2019)

I’ve been hearing buzz about this novel for months. The publisher is selling it this way: “Bridget Jones’s Diary meets Americanah in this disarmingly honest, boldly political, and truly inclusive novel that will speak to anyone who has gone looking for love and found something very different in its place.” Okay – I’m in.

 

Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss by  Rajeev Balasubramanyam (The Dial Press, March 26, 2019)

This novel sounds like it’s one for fans of The Rosie Project and the underappreciated Love in Lowercase. Professor Chandra might be an internationally renowned economist who’s just missed being awarded the Novel Prize (again), but the stress of it all is also killing him. After he’s the victim of a bicycle hit-and-run accident, his doctor advises him that it’s time to take a break – to follow his bliss. And there begin his adventures…

Marian Keyes, queen of British rom coms, loved this book. “It’s tender and compassionate, written with exquisite care and verve, and so so SO funny.” It doesn’t get much better than that!